It sits on a torse, a wreath of cloth, and above the mantling that
spreads out from the helm. The crest is an official component
of the coat of arms, governed by the rules of heraldry,
as is the shield, which often depicts the same
symbols borne as the crest.
Coat of Arms Family Crest Origins
Coats of arms are heraldic bearings, originally created for purposes of identification of knights.
The general adoption of heraldic devices in the twelfth century is proven by seals found from that time period.
Coats of arms surged in popularity as medieval tournaments did and soon became hereditary as a military
status symbol. The crest as a component of arms was actually a component of a medieval helmet,
which rested on top of it and provided some protection against blows. The crest contained within the arms,
evolved into an independent heraldic emblem, often accompanied by a family motto.
Family Crests and What They Represent
Family crests as you may know them today, began as heraldic clan badges. As such, they are steeped in
history and heritage, having been passed down generation to generation. The symbols borne as a crest on a
coat of arms are most often animals, all with different meanings. The eagle, for example, symbolises nobility,
bravery and quick wit; the ant, great labour and wisdom. Even the bat, symbolising awareness of the powers
of darkness and chaos, has made an appearance on armorial bearings.
Coats of arms family crests have great significance for the coat of arms and independently.
They represent characteristics of progenitors, those which are expected to be borne by all kinsfolk to follow.
They also indicate characteristics that family’s value and honour. Crests and shields are the show
pieces of a coat of arms. They are the two official components of a coat of arms and, in history,
both protective pieces of equipment. Learn your coat of arms family crest, the meaning behind it,
and display it with pride. This way, you can commemorate and pay tribute to your ancestors and kin.
Celebrate crests by adorning your self with family shields, crest and seal rings and your walls with
coat of arms plaques and family history scrolls.
A Coat of Arms is sometimes also called a Family Shield, Family Seal or Family Crest.